Dash of Sass: Ten Signs You’re Dealing with a Manipulator

detoxI was manipulated by someone that I loved and wanted to believe the best in for eight years…so suffice it to say, when I spot manipulation of any kind now in my life, I nip it in the bud immediately. And God has been teaching me so much about manipulation in this new year: Opening my eyes to ways in which I was being manipulative and also revealing to me people in my life who were attempting to manipulate me. As a result, I have been steadily detoxing my life of these negative behaviors and people. And now I urge you to do the same. Manipulation is toxic and dishonest and essentially is an attempt to put yourself in the place of God in order to control how things go and how people act and respond to you. It is unhealthy on every level. Here are some manipulative behaviors to look out for, both in yourself and in those around you:

1) Victimization
2) Exaggeration
3) Control
4) Attention-seeking
5) Passive aggressiveness
6) “Subtweeting” or otherwise making veiled statements about someone on social media in an attempt to make a dig at them without having enough integrity to state your beef openly and honestly.
7) Guilt-tripping
8) Twisting scriptures/invoking God’s name as a way to fit your agenda or control people/make them feel guilty
9) Lying/making up traumatic stories about catastrophes in your life in order to get attention.
10) Attempting to “buy” someone’s friendship with gifts/favors

If you are doing any of these things, even subconsciously…STOP.
If someone is doing these things to you…WALK AWAY.

17 Responses to “ Dash of Sass: Ten Signs You’re Dealing with a Manipulator ”

  1. February 26, 2015

    I wish I’d known the signs in college. But I was where you were. Now I know, and I don’t put up with it. But to think of the time lost to these abusers makes me sick.

    • Jana
      June 6, 2015

      I regret all the time lost. Too much. I wonder how God can fix that.

  2. Diane Steigel
    February 26, 2015

    Thanks so much for this blog post. Very enlightening & eye/heart opening. I have a lot of work to do on myself & God is using you to provide many helpful tools for me.

  3. Amy
    February 26, 2015

    What if you try to be open with someone though and they wont let you or wont talk to you.

  4. Lucia Navarro
    February 26, 2015

    I recently broke up with someone who fit 9 out of 10 of the bullet points above. This gentleman was not a young man. Sadly this was the behavior of a 48 year old man! He was my first boyfriend. I should have known better. My mom told me never to recycle boyfriends.

  5. Essy
    February 27, 2015

    I’m actually honestly exhibiting these traits… Although I’m not inventing traumatic experiences in my life. I am not quite sure how to snap out of it.

  6. Rose
    February 27, 2015

    I can’t tell you how timely this is! An ex called me when I specifically and repeatedly told him not to. I responded, in hindsight, too nicely and now wish I’d called him out for his intrusive and controlling behaviour (in so many areas). I’m so glad you said walk away because it reminds me not to engage and it’s not worth it.

  7. mattie
    February 27, 2015

    now I know and knowing is half the battle ,acting on it is another. I am not that way like @ all ,but have had MANY guys on dating sites especially that are .its aweful. they want to make you into what they want you to be .not who you really are .it takes a confident woman to see it and walk away before someone gets hurt and by someone its usually us women ,you know we are built to please ppl. I think the enemy uses that against us big time ,I really do. thanks mandy

  8. Deb
    February 27, 2015

    I was involved with a manipulative man for a brief moment in time. I was lost….and became isolated from my family and friends. I have learned to recognize when those red flags are there to pay attention. If I had gotten out of the psychological and physically abusive relationship sooner, I would not be left with permanent physical injury. Oh well…..lesson learned, albeit a painful lesson. I am quite content being single. I had a brief episode of anxiety as I drove by his community, but learned to shake it off. I have come a long way in my healing and am proud of where I am today. No more manipulators for this chick!!!

  9. Sarah
    March 5, 2015

    I’ts been over a year but I’m still dealing with the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist. There was no way for me to have prepared mysrlf for what was done to me and the ONLY positive that came from it was the wisdom to hopefully see the red flags sooner should I encounter someone similar in the future. Still…I will never see the world the same or be the same happy go lucky girl again. More days than not I wish I could forget or develop amnesia of the past 4 years. And it is still too soon to tell if I’ll even come out on the other side of this. 🙁

    • Alice
      March 19, 2015

      Sarah… I’ve been down that road before.. it DOES get better. The tears DO stop falling. You will find yourself smiling at something random like a beautiful flower in a garden. Laughter does come after pain. I’m living proof. Remember, that nothing is left for you behind other than lessons learned that will help you in the future. Hang in their and start small. Find something that makes you happy… hobby, book, plant, whatever it is… and grow from there. He may have taken something from you but you have the power to replace it with something bigger, brighter and better… YOU HOLD THE KEYS TO YOUR LIFE… 🙂 From a fellow survivor…

  10. Reece Ann
    March 7, 2015

    I was in this relationship with master…at everything. He was a manipulator and abuser. He controlled me and i remember telling him over and over it feels like your trying to control me, his reply” I’m not trying g to control you but to get you to see what your doing is killing us”. But in fact he was killing us and blaming me for everything. Then I discover all the blame on me was he was doing all the wrong.

  11. Loreta
    March 10, 2015

    Thank you for educating me on this subject. I didn’t realize that I am in fact a manipulator and tha I stop it. God bless you Mandy and that you do. Thank you!

  12. Reece Ann
    March 13, 2015

    This person is known as a sociopath, my ex is severely demented. He has these traits and many more. I had no idea that he was this sick, the controlling, manipulation, victimization and abuse plus many more things he did to me. He had me believing that I needed him that I could not live with out him, but in reality he needed me!!

    • Trish
      March 20, 2015

      Reece Ann, I could not agree more – sociopath. I dated one too, he had me believing I was the problem and he CONSTANTLY manipulated me and had me under his spell. I broke the curse and stepped outside of that false-love. I now see him and others for who they are and what they’re trying to do to me. The minute I sense there is a hidden agenda, I run. Manipulation is just another word for lie. Today, I only surround myself with people that genuinely love me in truth. Excellent post Mandy! Love your blog!!!

  13. Whitney
    April 6, 2015

    It’s even scarier when a woman in your life ( a close friend) fits the profile completely. Should I walk away from 10 years of friendship & wait for her to grow up? Will she ever mature from these habits? should I treat her the same way I would any manipulative guy/suitor?

  14. maryann
    September 6, 2015

    I just realized im Dating a manipulator I don’t know if I can change him or just let go

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Something wonderful is on the horizon
Turn Toward the Sun CoverLife doesn’t always look the way we want it to look. In Mandy’s upcoming book, Turn Toward the Sun: Releasing What If and Embracing What Is, you’ll find encouragement to live in the moment, sit with your experiences, and trust God with the unknown.
Preorder from Baker Book House for 40% off and free shipping!*
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*US shipping only